Radamel Falcao has revealed he turned big money offers from the Chinese Super League in the winter transfer window in order to fight for a first-team place at Chelsea. The former Manchester United striker has refused to rule out a permanent move to Stamford Bridge this summer, declaring himself fully fit following four months on the sidelines.
The Colombia international agreed a one-season loan move to West London from Monaco last summer, despite failing to make any noticeable impact on the Premier League during a previous spell at Old Trafford. The 30-year-old has since failed to prove his doubters wrong, being stuck in the treatment room since a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in October.
His future at Chelsea came under scrutiny during the January transfer window after the Blues bolstered their number 9 ranks with the arrival of Pato. Reports at the time linked him as the next major star to make a megabucks move to China, with Guus Hiddink even leaving him out of Chelsea's Champions League squad.
Falcao has now confirmed that he received two lucrative proposals to move to the Far East alongside the likes of Ramires, but instead opted to stay at Stamford Bridge.
"It is true that I had two different offers to move to China, but I stayed in England to give me another opportunity," Falcao said to El Tiempo. "Going there would have been the easiest way out because it was a great offer. But I preferred to stay here and fight [for a place]."
Falcao has less than two months to prove he deserves a permanent move to the Premier League, as Chelsea need to make a decision by 29 April. The Colombian is aware how unlikely the Blues' extending his stay would be, but he refuses to throw in the towel just yet.
"I am focused on the club and just live in the present. Football changes very fast and what today can't be, tomorrow can," Falcao added. "I'm not thinking about what might happen on April 29. My job is to give my best and when the time comes to make decisions, we will analyse everything and see, because everything can change in football.
"Today I think about what can Chelsea do from now to May. I do not look beyond that. My staying here will depend on many factors, it doesn't depend just on my decision. That's why I try to give my best in training to have a chance [to play], but this will be discussed when we need to make a final decision."
Asked if he would consider taking up those Chinese offers in the summer, he insisted: "My present remains in Europe."
The Colombian said he is finally ready to return to action in the upcoming match with West Ham United on 19 March, which may be a boost for Hiddink as Diego Costa is set to miss the game with a suspension.